George Washington: First Inaugural Address


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George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, to a joint session of Congress in the Senate chambers in New York City’s Federal Hall. Believing that he would be elected the first president under the Constitution of 1787, Washington had asked his close friend David Humphreys to draft an inaugural address. Washington discarded Humphreys’s seventy-three-page draft, however, and asked James Madison to write a more appropriate address.

This simple, concise,...